tv Charlie Rose PBS August 4, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
>> charlie: welcome to our program. tonight a conversation with one of the great figures of american sports, arnold palmer. if you were playing today, would you be number one? >> i can't answer that. >> charlie: but you had the willo win, the club are different, you'd be strong. you'd like to give it a shot wouldn't you. >> you're damn right. [laughter] >> i'd like to give it ago. >> charlie: arnold palmer for the hour, next. the@20 yea@a youhahad a ke
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: arnold palmer is with us for this hour. he is a legend who came out of thhills of pennsylvania with his father's hard driving lessons deep in his soul. he had the strength of a line backer and the magna advertisal of a movie star. all of that you could hit a small intawl and win a masters. two british opens and 62pga tour events, but never, never the pga, although he came close coming in second three times. he was once chosen athlete of the decade, not just in his sport, in all sports. golf has never been the same. it is bigger, better and more popular in every dimension. he changed the game.
everyone that followed is indebtedo him. no one has had an army like arnie's army. no one's been so qted from eisenhower to oba. nobody had so much respect from his peer. he and jack nicholas defined rivalry like the red sox and the yankee, like do you recollect and north carolina. when jack kennedy was in power, arnold palmer was winning everything. he was the best. so good that the president wanted with a arnie to look at his swing and come play around. arnold palmer was a pilot and a hugely is successful businessman. he showed us what endorsements were all b he was most of all a competitor and a gentleman, and he still is as he approaches his 82nd birth day. we visit his home in latrobe, pennsylvania, he still lives there and also in florida with his second wife during the wier. right across from the golf
course his father helped bill. with an office with enough awards to fill a museum, we began with a ur ofo many memories a then a conversation about so many experiences. >> this is a norman rockwell. >> this was done years ago. >> charlie: when you first said do i recognize this guy. >> i'm not sure anyone would recognize that. >> charlie: norman rockwell painted your picture. >> yes. >> charlie: not bad. >> this is a number of times i've been on sports illustrated. >> charlie: that's you and sam. >> we played in the world cup a uple times together and we won both times we played. >> charlie: you and jack. >> yes. the same thing. >> charlie: my game and yours, a unique concept of golf, first of a five part series of how to do it your way. sportsman of the year. >> yes. >> charlie: here is ...
>> casper. >> charlie: billy casper. >> yes, that's one we talk about once in a while. >> charlie: the toughest one to win or the master's? well you won more masters. >> of course i hung out at the master's. i loved it. >> charlie that's your favorite. >> it had to be. you can't ignore the open because it's still- >> charlie: it is of america. >> that's it. >> charlie: the american championship,. >> the championship. >> charlie: this is 40 years ago. >> 40 years ago. >> charlie: let's see how much you changed. [laughter] >> charlie: this is you and the famous winnie. >> yes. >> charlie: that's in 1967. there you are. let's look at the swing. >> that's out of the water.
>> charlie: they show you and jack and gary. >> yes. >> charlie: u.s. open. you and jack again. lf kings mbe selfish. do you think you have to be selfish. >> well, i don't think he's selfish and i don't think i am. >> charlie: what's this? >> those are my buddies. that's the blue angels. >> charlie: tell me about flying for you. it's a second passion. >> yes. you know, i started by being scared. when i was an amateur, i played a couple tournaments and i had to fly and got into weather and stuff and it scared me. i decided that will not work. i had to learn to fly. i had to find out what the airplanes, aeronautical engineering and what it was all. >> charlie: you fly now. >> i still have my license. the only thing that keeps me
from flying is going to recurrent aining which he haven't done. if i wanted to fly again i had to go back. charlie: your license lapses if you don't go back. >> well, the airplane. >> charlie: did you fly all those famousets u had, the citation ten and the other jet >> i'm going to show them to you before we finish this tour. >> charlie: this is your office. >> yes, sir. >> charlie: pictus of family. >> family, everything. >> charlie: there's your dad, deak. >> yes. >> charlie: his given name was decon. >> mildred jerome. now you know why he called me what he did. >> charlie: there's the guy. >> he's a great guy, a strong dude. and not a real big guy but very strong. >> charlie: by the time after the amateur and by the time you began to be who you were and are, you fully appreciated it.
>> it was great. he was great. this is my first tournament win right here, the canadian open. >> charlie: that was in what, what year. >> 15. >> charlie: that's three years away from when you started really killing it. >> i'm now as you know about approaching 82, and i've never shot four rounds in an official tournament lower than that. >> charlie: 65 a full round. >> yes. >> charlie: 64, 64, 70. pretty good. if you were today playing today, and it's back with the same, same age and skills that took place in 58 to 62, say when you won yo most major tournaments. by then you won all your major grand slams. if you were playing today, would
you be number one? >> i can't answer that. >> charlie: but you have the will to win. clubs are different. you'd be stronger. yowd like to give it a shot wouldn't you. >> you're damn right. [laughter] i'd like to give it ago. well, lake forest. i've spoken twice at commencement there. that's a picture of the school. pebble beach which i'm a partner in. that's the hole i drove at cherry hill, the first hole. >> charlie: when you actually reached that green, you were so infused by the fact by the what had been said to you. >> i was. determination and t things that we talked about, they were ... >> charlie: foremost in your
mind. everybody believed if you had wantedo be, you could have been governor of pnsylvania. di you think about it? >> i had no choice, you know. people pushed for me. tom ridge is one of my big fans. >> the future governor. >> yes. so that was something that i wasn't a politician. >> charlie: what, did you -- but you're also an american, you're a citizen. >> i love it. >> charlie you just didn't want to do it. >> i didn't want to spend -- i wanted to play golf. >> charlie: you don't have to be in politics to make a contribution to the country. >> these are all commencements i speak at, various universities around the country. this is one i got last summer i'm very pleased about and it's
st. andrews. my degrees from st. arews. come on, we'll show you some more. >> charlie: tell me what i'm going to see here because this is legendary where you sit here d hyde that's right. i love it. people say i destroy more than i build. >> chaie: are you convinced what you do in here to a club fits it better to your swing. >> i always said that if i had the perfect club, i shoulday the perfect game. >> charlie: because you had a perfect swing. >> that's what i tried to achievhere. >> charlie: you grind and build and get the parts sent in to you. >> i can do anythin i put them togethe take them apart. most people say i'm very good at taking them apart. [laughter] >> charlie: what kind of clubs do you play with today. >> callaway. >> charlie: of course you do. >> yes, sir. >> charlie: let me talk to
you a moment about president eisenhower. your 37th birthday, he shows up at the front door of your house. >> yes, sir. >> charlie: he's come with his wife to pay tribute to your birthday. this was the president you haded deepest relationship with. >> oh yes. i played golf with him the day after i won the master's in 1958 at his request. we became ever lasting friends. i was with him a day before he died at walter reed and that's very familiar because they're closing walter reed. we just became very close friends. we played golf together, we played hard exhibitions. we did all that kind of stuff. and then the doctors told him that he really should not play golf anymore. so he used to call.
he would spend his winters in palm springs and he'd call me and he'd say arnie, what are you doing. i said well i'm going to go play golf i think. he says oh, he says well he says, if you get time stop at the house and we'll have a beer. well, i wouldn't play golf, i'd go over and sit with him and we'd talk and just talk about golf and business and military and the whole thing. the country. >> charlie: his passion for golf also made it popular. >> we can say that in spades. >> charlie: then there was j.f.k. who also sought you out. he want you to look at his swing. >> right. >> charlie: because he w a guy who loved winters. >> and he was a good governor. >> charlie: when you saw his swing, you said he is supposed to have played better and had a more fluid swing than any of the presidents. >> rig.
>> charlie: and you said that you could have worked with him. >> it never happened. >> charlie: why didn't it happen. >> actually i was on my way to palm beach to play. >> charlie: this was 63. >> it was early. >> charlie: was it 63. >> it was 63. >> charlie: he died in november of 63. >> we we going to play some golf and the whitehouse called me and said arnie forget it. and i said why, i said i want to do it. and theyd well, he hurt his back and he's going to take some time off. i don't think he's going to play golf for a while. that was the end of it. >> charlie: this is the famous -- >> this is the shot. well, i'm going to -- >> charlie: arnold palmer, makes them and breaks them, handles anything, no house calls. [laughter] >> we're going to go right here back to the ght now.
>> charlie: all right. the you've always had a very good relationship with the press. >> enjoy, i enjoy the press. i understand their business. and doc has helped me with that. but guys from the press were guys that, you know, i could get with. i could talk to them. part of what made -- >> charlie: there was a fence that you were this guy that could, who played to win but there was a sense thatouere of them. >>uddies. >>harlie: buddies. >> that's the best way to say it. >> charlie: they were buddies. arnie was their buddy. >> we'd have a beer together. >> charlie: these are big time mels. >> the presidential medal of freedom. >> charlie: the highest award given to a civilian. >> this is one from portugal, highest civilian award. i built a golf course there and
the president and i became friends. >> charlie: played a round or two. >> this belt is a hitchcock belt and in 1950 i won that for professional athlete of the year. >> charlie: you also won it for the professional athlete of the decade. >> yes, sir, yes, sir. that's what this relates to. >> charlie: this is the picture. it looks like a bush. >> it is. >> charlie: that's a great honor, isn't it. >> yes, it is. >> charlie: what's this. >> that's the national amateur. >> charlie: so that's 54. >> yes. >> charlie: that stands pretty high up. >> oh, that's major. we go over here and we'll wind it up. this is, charlie, this is my presidential corner. this is the things that happened with my various presidents that i associated with and spent some
time with. >> charlie: let's talk about them. over there is richard nixon. did he play golf. >> yeah, he did,es. >> charlie: gerald ford. >> yes. he was a great guy. >> charlie: he played golf. >> you could tell by the laugh. this is a conference that nixon called of all of his friends to talk about how to negotiate the war. >> charlie: you were considered among a friend to help him. >> kissinger, the whole ground. >> charlie: how to negotiate the end of the vietnam war. >> yes. >> charlie: wow. this is george bush 41. >> yes. he's a great guy. charlie: but he plays fast golf. >> very. >> charlie: here is ronald reagan. >> these are like whitehouse dinners. >> charlie: here again with the bushes. here again. o is the lady in white. >> she happens to be the queen. >> charlie: herewe go with
so trophies. >> various rider cup. >> charlie: what is the rider cup. >> it's a great international competition. >> charlie: it's more enthusiasmor them. >> i hope so. i've always been a big thinker that the more international competition we can cate through sports, the better relationships we'll have with countries. >> charlie: more common ground we can find the better off we're going toe when push comes to sho. >> that's right. that's the name of the game. >> charli here you are with bill clinton. clinton here, clinton here. he loves golf. >> he's a great guy, whatever your polits are. >> chaie: what's his golf. >> well, the ball just didn't have a zip code on it. [laughter] >> charlie: he was driving the ball, he wasn't necessarily -- >> that's right. [laughter] >> this is a letter. he and i were playing golf one
day and you can see the date, it's 65. >> charlie: may i read it. >> sure. >> charlie: it's dde, which is guide david eisenhower, gettysburg where he retired two. august 14, 1965. arnie, enclosed is payment for my debt. never was there one more reluctantly paid. this indicates rejection. please rembea couple will not be important a year from now. you'll win a lot more tournaments and forget all the woe caused by bridges and complaints by a tree. keep hitting them, all the best as ever, dde. pretty nice and these 0. the bet was what. >> the bet was he bet me i would win the pga championship, and i didn't. >> charlie: t hell of a life. >> it was full. >> charlie: it's an honor to be here.
>> well thank you, it's an honor to have you here charlie. >> charlie: thank you you once said this about golf. it is deceptively simple, endlessly calculated, but child can play it well and a grown man can never master it. it's full of unexpected triumphs. it is almost a science but yet it is a puzzle without an answer. it is gratifying and tantalizing. precise and unpredictable. it requires complete concentration and total relaxation. it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. it is at the same time rewarding and maddening and it is without doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented. at's well said, sir. >> well, thank you very much. that was a long time ago. >> charlie: when did you fall in love with this game? >> well, charlie, i got to start at the beginning i guess and it's right here about 200 years from where we're sitting. my father started on this golf
course at latrobe when he was 1 6 years old. he was digging ditch and they were building a golf course so i was raised right here. >> charlie: you were raised with golf. >> that's right. i was raised with him, i played cowboys and indians in the trees. then i started hitting the golf ball with some clubs that he sawed off. and i was raised with him really, with my fathe >> charlie: did he once tell you hit it as hard ayou can and you can work on accuracy later? >> he did. he said hit it hard, boy and go find it and hit it again. [laughter] >> charlie: served you well, didn't it. >> well it did, yes. he was a very tough guy, charlie. i was the fst son and first child and when my sister came along, well she was too years younger. and i had to go to the golf course because my mother couldn't handle the whole, while
the action was going on. so i came from about the time i was a year and-a-half old with him to the golf course and i spent the day with him here. and it just worked in naturally. and it was fun for are me, being with my fathe and doing the thgs for a kid to do is just great. >> charlie: what part have you gained today that you look back and say that was because of deak. >> every part, the whole part. everything. my manners, my, the things, my being was him. i wanted to emulate him. i wanted to be as tough as he was. i wanted to do the things that he did. i watched him and we had some guys that worked on the golf course. in those days, this is when i was born in 29, as you know, that was the depression.
so the golf course was manned by my father and two guys, they worked for my dad and they took me with them everywhere they went. and it was fun. and of course pat was a guy that he had infantile paralysis when he was born, a year after he was born. and so his upper body was very strong. he chinned himself with a straight bar and he could do either arm 10 to 15 times. and he did it every day. he just through here and his upper body was is he ry strong. and i did that too. >> charlie: many people have gone on to find the fame and fortunate don't come back to eir home town but you did and you do and you will to the day
you die. >> you're right. and i will, i love it. >> charlie: i think you said something like this. your home town is not where you're from, it is who youre. so you think if your father's here, golf is here,the thing that molded you. when did you know that you could play this game well? >> well, of course that was another thing about my father. he never let me feel like i was, i knew everything or anything. he rode hard and made me feel come scious of the fact i wasn't very good and i had to prove to him i was good. and that hung with me. i always wanted to play golf with him and show him. and he said, just don't ever, and he looked at me just like i'm looking at you, don't ever
tell people how good you are. show them. >> charlie: every young man wants to prove himself. every young man wants to say to dad i did okay, don't you think? >> i never dared. when i won e amateur, he came from here to detroit to watch me play the final round. d i really barely won. i scraped it out and i beat a guy by the name of bob sweeney. i was the national amateur champion which was, i was 24 years old. and my father was there, and i couldn't wait to see him and my mother. and i went up and i was waiting for all the accolades, and my mother of course was very teary. and my dad looked at me, he says well boy, you didood. that was it. >> charlie: you had said
ter that, that that was the most, the greatest triumph of your life in a sense. >> it was one that was most important. >> charlie: most important to you. because that's when you got your dad's approval. why lake forest? >> well, again my father. you're going to get tired about hearing about my father. >> charlie: it defines who you are. >> worked for him on the grounds. i was in high school and i said i wanted to go to college. and he said well, he says you figure it out. he says i'll pay for your college but he says you're going to go to st. vincent. that's st. vincent college rigt here. that's about as much as i can afford. you work here and pay for your scho and that will be here right at home. i said what about if i can get somewhere else. he says if you get there that's your call. so i played golf. played high school golf, played amateur golf.
and i got a lot of offers. the offers started coming in because i was playing pretty good. i won amateur tournaments as a junior and the whole thing. and i was playing in the national junior in los angeles with a body of mine who was from washington d.c his name was marvin bud washham. and his brother was lou who won the open in 47. that was the year we graduated. and we were out there playing in the junior and he says arnie, where are you going to go to college. and i said well, i'm looking at a couple. i said i've had some feelers from penn state and pit and one from miami and i like the miami deal because i could play golf all winter. and he said hey, he says if could get you a scholarship, would you go with me. the i said where are you going. he said i'm going to go to lake
rest. i said where is that. he says it's in north carolina. i said oh my, you c play golf all year. so he said if i contact them and they give you a scholahip will u go. i says you bet. so he called the aletic director was a guy by the name of jim weaver. did you hear that anymore. >> charlie: indeed. >> you should because he founded the atlantic coast conference. >> charl: i grew up as you know some 30 miles from lake forest. >> henderson. >> charlie: indeed. >> yes. well jim weaver, i had no ia who it was. i didn't even know where lake forest was but i came home from that tournament, went to play another one, came home and got on a bus and went on the bus to wake forest. i'll never forget it. and jim weaver became one of the best friends i ever had. he was the athletic director and
golf coach and did the whole thing. and that's how i ended up at wake. >> charlie: you re there but washham was there and jim flick was there. >> oh yes, jim is a good friend of mine. >> charlie: so he's a great golfer. >> he and i roomed together after the accident when bud got killed in a car accident in our senior year. >> charlie: t debt of bud washhamad a big impact on you. >> terrible. he was ... he was like a brother. we did everything. we played golf against each other, we did everything you could do to get therendhen he got kild, it was, it was me. it was about as bad as it could get. the and i finished a semester
and i couldn't stand it, so i decided that i had to do something else and get my mind cleared up. so i joined the coast guard and i spent three years in the coast guard after that. >> charlie: so you come out of the coast guard and you're ready to be a golfer. >> yes. the coast guard, what it did for me in three years was as much as wake forest did for me as a school. they matured me. it allowed me to grow up. and when i wen back to wake after the, for are my fal year, i knew then that things were better. meaning i felt like i could handle myself. >> chaie: more mature. >> exactly. and enjoyed it and then i went back after school, my senior year, i went back to cleveland and took a job there and worke
there for the summer. an thee when things started happening, the amateur and so on. >> charlie: what was it about the charge that so electrified people and made them feel like that you connected to them more than anyone else. >> i'm not sure i can answer at. i can tell you that the thing that i was scared i was going to se. and i didn't want to lose. it wasn't as much i was going to win, i didn't -- any time i got close, i felt iad to win. i had to, i couldn't lose. i couldn't let that happen to me, and it worked. it worked for me and a lot of tournaments that i can remember gee i made a bad shot and i got afraid i was going to lose the tournament. and it seemed to work.
the putts seemed to go in and just the desire. >> charlie: assess for me the best time from 58 to 62, that six year run, your swing. >> i had asystem, and the system worked. it was a system that, and it lastedit was better later than 62 or 63. i suppose that i have a psychological feeling about things, if i hav something that's, that i nee to accomplish and i accomplish it, i let down aer that. and that happened to me in golf. but i played better golf from oh, 65 to 75. from the standpoint of hitting the golf ball and hitting it
where i wanted to and doing what i wanted to do better than i did in the years that i won all those events. >> charlie: you did not win a marriage between 65 and 75. >> right. >> charlie: but you were playing better golf. >> well i was second five times. >> charlie: i know. exactly. >>hat's what i mean. that's exactly what i mean. >> charlie: take me to the 1960 u.s. open. >> well, the open in 60, i was playing good. as you know i won the master's and my game was goo and i wt to oklahoma city, played good there and went the next tournament was cherry hill's and i had been to cherry hill's to practice. i went up there to practice and feeling pretty good about my game. for 54 holes, i h the ba on the green two putt,s, ball o
the green, two putts. and then i hit a bogie. i'll never forget. you heard the story about bob drum. >> charlie: yes. >> my friend of pittsburgh. on friend of doc. anyway, i was in the locker room and i was very disappointed. i was going to have a sandwich and go pl my second round. i ran into drum. i was must not check -- munchig on a hamburger. we always kidded with each other. i said bob, i said you know, i also upset, i said i made good and nothing's happening. i said what do you think. and this is real serious. this is the way i was talking. and i said bob, what do you think if i could shoot 65 this afternoon. and he looked at me and totally
insulted me. he says it wouldn't help you at all. heays you can't do anything. well, i never finished i was so upset. i went out to the praice to hit a couple drives and they called me. >> charlie: you kept the driver in your hand. >> now i'm going to tell you something maybe you do know, maybe you don't know. that driver s a hogan driver. >> charlie: is that right. >> i was honor arm, i was with wilson sporting goods and we were talking about clubs and everything and benazir bhutto gave me two drivers. that was one of them. and of course i doctored them, you know. >> charlie: right. [laughter] >> i went with the tee.
i drove it 336 yards. and i two putted, almost three putted. i made birdie's. i knew things were happening and i knew people were talking and the crowd was getting bigger and bigger. and who comes walking down the middle the fair way, bob drum. [laughter] i said what the hell are you doing here. and looked at me and he says you're pying pretty good, aren't you then i wouldn't even talk to him. i walked by him. what did i do? >> charlie: what did you do. >> i bogied the hole. [laughter] i pitched it out of a sand trap. but i thought 39 and that's what i needed.
>> charlie: 30 will get you there. who needs a 60 when you got a 30 on the frontline. and you won the u.s. open. >> i won the u.s. open. i won by two. >> charlie: do you remember the great shots and the great tournaments or do you remember the almost where you had it and you bogied the final hole. >> i remember the ones i lost, yes. i remember some that i won but more importantly, i remembered some of the ones i lost probably as much as anything. that's something that i will never forget and did it ruin me or did it hurt my career? i can't say that it did. the it taught me something. it taught me about life a little bit. how to take the bad with the good. ve had a couple those as you can well remember.
and yes, they hurt. they really hurt. but when i reflect on it nownd i look back and say it taught me something, it taught me how to live and how to be a better guy and not let defeat be t end of my li. and i'm thankful for that. i wouldn't never felt good if i hadn't experienced losing.ou because losing is part of your life and it's something that if i could teach people to understand that and get to them with that, i think i would help them a lot. >> charlie: when you think about the army that followed you, did it make a difference for you? did it give you something that no one else had on the course. >> no question. it did. the finances, i loved them.
and you know, my mother would be in my gaery just to give you an example. and everybody was calling it arnie's army. i would look right at my mother and not remember. >> charlie: when did you first see and play with jack nicholas. >> well i'm considerably older than jack. >> charlie: not considerably, ten years maybe. >> almost 11. and first time i met jack, i had heard about his golf and i admired what he was doing. and i was playing in the ohio amateur i think, and then this is before i even turned pro. and then there was an exhibition out in ohio and he asked me to come and play with jack and he and howard saunders. and i went and i met jack for
the first time. and we hit it off immediately. >> charlie: liked each other. >> we became friend. we were friends. but we competed. and charlie, that was about so many years ago, i don't ebb remember now. but we have played against each other, we're still friends and he's one of best friends i have. and he's a guy, we don't spend a lot of time together. but if i felt le i needed something that he was the guy i needed to talk to, i'd go see him. >> charlie: you agree that the rivalry th took place is part of the magic that everybody says made modern golf. you, television, jack nicholas. >> well, i don't know. i hope so. i hope that it helped. i think out television, think abouike, i think about jack, i think about hogan.
and ho that influenced me a little bit and the people at had an effect on my life, and certainly the relationship with jack was a good one. but was competitive. and it still is today. >> charlie: how is it competitive today. >> we do business. >> charlie: he builds courses you build courses. >> we ild golf crses. and we don't agree on a great deal but when it comes to something that's good, we agree. if we have something that we need to do as a team, we do it. >> charlie: the competition, did it make you both better? you and jack. >> oh, i think so. i tnk it, i think, no, it helped me to have jack playing the way he did. >> charlie: because you're such a competitor, therefore having somebodwho is going to challenge you made you better. >> exactly. and of course the fact that he
was so determined and he had a personality that was very good for what he was doing. >> charlie: what was that personality. >> he shut everything off and played golf. and he was very good at that. he could concentrate on what he was doing. i never seen him, maybe in all of lives for the best part i never seen him waver on the court in competition. the only time i saw that happen is when we would be playing in a tournament and we would be playing together. and we'd start trying to beat each other. and sometimes, it happened this way. there were occasions when we got to play each other so much, someone else came along and beat both of us. and that's happened. >> charlie: 18 majors, makes
him the greatest golfer of all time. >> well, until somebody shows me a better game, it kes him the best, yes. >> charlie: do you believe tiger will break his records? >> no. but i shouldn't say that. i think tiger is as close to it as anyone has ever been. >> charlie: jack has 18, tiger has 14 and you have 7. in between, there are three or four others. >> yes. and tiger still has a shot at it. you got toelieve, don't you, if somebody had a game as good as he had, you can pture it or not? >> not sure about that. you know, once you vary, when you lose that thing that you were talking about earlier, what
is it. sometimes it's hard to put in place. what is it. i'm not sure i know many. i'm not sure jack knows. i know what he d and i know how good he was. buhaving him describe to you or to anyone what it was. what was that thing that you grab. i know that he, that his concentration was so good that he could play and play the way it was. but i've seen it wander, even with nicholas as good he was. now that you have a disturbance in your life that's major, can yoget itback. can you get that thing that you can't put your finger on and get ho of it and choke it and keep it. boy, that's a tough deal. that's something you see it in every store. i've seen it in golf, baseball
players, football players. i've seen them so good. and then all of a sudden something happens. and it could be a psychological thing like you don't, you say well i've done it. and that's it. and then you say well i want to do it again and it isn't there. you can't find it. you can't groups it, you can't hold on to it. >> charlie: some call that an x factor. >> exactly. >>harlie: you don't know what it is, you can't dene it, you know when it's there. >> yes. >> charlie: you had it, jack had it. >> a lot of people. hogan. nelson. >> charlie: barry nelson had it. sam sneed. sam sneed probably was a little fther from where we're talking about and had an ability
that was more natural than anybody that i knew in golf. sneed was close to a natural player as anything that ever happened. but you know, now here's a guy like that you can say one, he never won the pga. sneed never won the open. well my goodness, if anybody, if you think bit, anybody that should have won an open w sneed, but didn't and why? >> charlie: why? >> that's the x factor. >> charlie: but you kept that, that thing about winning in you to this very day. you have it, you feel it about business. >> it's a drive. it's a thing that feels like when i go to bed at night i go to sleep. >> charlie: i never met a
winner, and i mean it in that sense of the word, who didn't have a work ethic like you never seen before. i never had somebody come to sitted at my table and say i just have so much talent that naturally i won. they all say i wanted it more, i worked harder for it, i did more, i focused more. >> that's it, you got it. of course i talk to golfers, i talk to my grand sons, two of them about their games. and i tell them to develop a system. now they're young and if ey can devop that system, it's going to be the crutch that they need to be good. and stick with that system, make it work f them, but know what it is and know what you have to do to make it work. >> charlie: telle what a system is. >> it can be anything you do.
it can be the way you swing a golf club, it can be the habits that you develop when you're learning to play golf. it can be just soil things that it all has to do with doing it day in and day out. and when you get in cometion, -- competition and under pressure and you have the ball and you're looking at it and you know where you want to hit it and you know what you have to and it's doing that. and having that system to depend on it, to get the ball where you want it to be is the secret. >> charlie: said in another way too, your swing wasn't a perfect swing. but it was your swing. >> it was mine. >> charlie: it was your system. it was what you knew you could depend on. >> that's right. >> charlie: is there a difference between you and jack that jack didn't take the kind of risk you took, he wanted to play a conservative game and play the odds and you, it was in your dna.
>> it was just fun. it was fun. just go at it >> charlie: just hit it. >> as my father says, hit, go get it and hit it again. or when there's two trees there in front of you and there's an opening the pen between them. >> charlie: go through. >> i had to. i coul't back off. i was forced to. >> charlie: phil nicholson is a bit that way. >> yes. >> charlie: etimes you loseournaments that you ought to win and sometimes you win tournaments that you're likely to lose. >> that is very true. i'd like to think that i won re than i lost, but i suppose there's an opinion about that. >> charlie: the most painful loss was? >> oh, gee i could think of a lot of them. >> charlie: you have a whole list of them. >> i suppose san francisco, the
open. with the lead that i had. >> charlie: how big was the lead. >> seven shots. >> charlie: going into the back nine. >> back nine. nine holes to play. >> charlie: you were seven strikes ahead with nine holes to play. >> yes. >> charlie: how tough is it not having won the pga so you would have won all o the majors? >> well, i make excuses. >> charlie: i know. >> i fished second a number of times and i played good a couple times that i felt like i should win the pga. and it hurts, the fact that i didn't win. and i suppose there's some x factor that says why didn't you win. and my excuses are i've won the australian, i've won the british, all pga but i haven't won the u.s.
>> charlie: you get credit for changing golf. the magnetism you brought there, and people say that is much more important than the number of tournaments u won, that because of you and because of the style and because of the drama you brought to the game that you made it so exciting and you also brought new fans to the game. and that that is a legacy that matches whatever tournaments you want. does it match it for you? >> well, iope that i've done a little bit of what you're saying i've done. the game is so fantastic and people who get into it love it so much. and the fact that if i had a little bit to do with some of the enjoyment that i've seen today, i'm pleased with that. there's no game like it.
you go out there and you key it up on the first tee. it's you and the golf course. if you can handle it, go at it and do it and do it good. but what other game. there's always someone else in the other game, it's the guy hitting the ball toou or you throwing the bottom somewhere or something else that there are other people involved in, in golf. you are the person doing it. >> charlie: you are doing two things you are playing yourself and you're playing the course. >> that's it. and you can't change it. that's the way it is. >> charlie: gary player and others have said all of us should give 20% of our earnings to arnie because without him it
would not have been nearly as good for us as it has been. >> well, i thank you or gar or anybody that says that, but the truth is that it's such a great game and it's been so much fun for me to be a part of it. i think about what influenced me and what made me do some of the things that u're talking about. like the golf associations from when i start right here in western pennsylvania aa and make in the west penn golf association tournaments. then the usga, the united states golf association, what those people, whether you like them or dislike them, what they've done to make the game so great is part of what made me do what i wanted to do and have the opportunity to do what i wanted to do. to play the game.
the history of the game. and you know, those things are so important to me that people talk about the galleries. peop that have inspired me to what i did and to win and to have the pleasures that i have had in my life, my wife winnie, my wife now, how they helped me do what i wanted to do. it's so important and i'm most grateful for that. and i could spend the rest of my life just thanking peoe for the contributions th've made anthe fact that i've had a big success. mark mccormick, we haven talked about hi too much. mark was great and we had differences. but he was great for me because he taught me something about business and about the world.
and the other people, the doc the people i'm associated with in life and in business, what they've contributed just to me mentally in my life is something that i could never thank them enough for. >> charlie: thank you for allowing us to come here. >> thank you charlie. >> charlie: pleasure. >> i tell you what, i don't play golf very much anymore but if you find your time you come here and we'll try latrobe country club. >> charlie: you have made my day. thank you. >> very good. thank you. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org